The guys in Souls at Zero must be gluttons for punishment: They’ve lost their major-label deal, their drummer, and I’ve personally watched them play to perhaps 10 people at a local club…and still they bounce back with A Taste for the Perverse, their second album on metal-oriented indie label Energy. A consistently satisfying mix of bombast and melancholy, Perverse retains the sense of frustration evident on the Baltimore quartet’s previous, self-titled release, but occasionally indulges in some cautious experimentation: the noisy guitar effects on “Taken Apart,” the industrial creaks on the particularly enjoyable “Needles,” and a surprisingly effective spoken- word piece. For purists, there’s plenty of straight-ahead metal (Terry Carter and Jay Abbene recall the twin-guitar approach of Judas Priest at its best), and the sullen roar of vocalist/bassist Brad Divens is perhaps the genre’s finest.

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